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Pundit Hansen earns rebuke from Man Utd boss Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson claims Alan Hansen, the former Liverpool defender, will be proved wrong for claiming Manchester United had not played well for 18 months. Ferguson has always had a frosty relationship with Hansen, dating back to 1986, when he left the central defender out of his Scotland World Cup squad.

And, in his programme notes ahead of Tuesday night's Premier League encounter with Stoke at Old Trafford, the United boss made his feelings known.

"After the Arsenal game, one of the London papers said we were the worst United team he has seen, and I noticed Alan Hansen was at it again, saying we had not played well for one and a half years," Ferguson told United Review.

"I reckon that comment goes alongside his claim a few years ago that you don't win anything with youngsters, and you know how he ended up with egg on his face after dismissing the Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Gary Neville crop of kids so foolishly.

"Maybe he was just trying to rattle us on the eve of going to play his old club at Anfield in the cup at the weekend.

"I don't know how some of the critics come to their conclusions.

"Yes, we have had our bad days (who doesn't?), losing to Manchester City and then folding against Blackburn before crashing out of the FA Cup.

"Forget the fact that we had 14 players out with injury for the Blackburn fixture and that we were missing a few at Liverpool; we won't use injuries as a crutch, we will simply concentrate on getting our message across out on the pitch.

"I have every confidence that we will give a good account of ourselves - even perhaps play well enough to convince pundit Hansen."

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Dave Williams

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